Welcome Bitaah and a huge thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you for hosting me, you look really lovely, tonight.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you are doing right now?
Well, I’m partially a Djinn and I’m sure that can sound a little awkward to your readers. I mean, how is anyone partially a Djinn. It’s almost like saying ‘I’m partially pregnant’. *Laughs* But the truth is that I was born a Djinn, and at my initiation when I came of age, I pledged myself to the protection of those weaker than us, Mankind specifically, and so, rather than receive my full ability of magic, I was limited to having domain over the elements and my Djinn strength, only.
These days, I am between my steel-bending shop in Salhagaar and Pharaoh’s palace in Thebes.
What is it like in the village of Salhagaar? Do you have family there? How did you become a steel bender?
Interesting question. Salhagaar is fantastic. It’s a small village, I mean everyone knows everyone. It’s quiet for the most part. Actually, I came to Salhagaar, alone. Here’s something very few people know… When I left Thebes on the night of the new Pharaoh’s coronation, I didn’t really know where I was going. You know, I just travelled North. On my travels, I came by a steel bender in his shop and I saw a hammer resting on the floor in the corner, and I asked if I could buy it from him. Well, the man laughed and told me that if I could lift it, it was mine. You should have seen his face when I picked it up. Anyway, I’ve always been quite strong and I like the artistry and craftsmanship of making things out of steel… so…
Who is the least favourite person in your life right now? Why?
Anpu, you might know him as Anubis. I’m often torn between feeling sorry for him and loathing him with every drop of my blood. What he went through in his life… it’s devastating. But, what he allowed himself to become… I guess I just can’t forgive what he’s done to the people closest to me. I’ve tried, but I just can’t.
If you could swap places with a fellow person you are with or have met, who would it be? And why?
Hmm, you have a curious mind, Katrina, let’s see. *long pause* No one, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be. You see, I’ve given my heart to a very special woman. I can’t risk losing that, even if it was just for an hour.
When you met Mirr-Ha what was it about her that made you fall in love with her? Do you think there could be a future for you both together?
Oh! I asked her to be my wife, and she accepted. *Big smile*
Remember when I told you about the night when I left the ranks of the Sekhrey? When I travelled North to Salhagaar? Well, I didn’t just wake up that morning and decide to leave. That night, at the coronation ceremony of the new Pharaoh, I had a vision. This is very common among the Sekhrey. But, that night, I saw her, Mirr-Ha, and I knew she was somewhere to the North. I came to Salhagaar to find her.
Mirr-Ha is very unlike many women. She’s shy and incredibly pure of heart. I remember when I first arrived there and took up the shop in front of her bread bakery. I had nothing. She didn’t even know me, you know, I was just some stranger — an outsider. Still, she brought me a basket of fresh bread, and quickly turned around and walked away. Every single day, I would wait for the moment she would bring me bread. It was the only time of day I could be close to her or be in her presence.
What do you believe your main propose is? And how far will you go to achieve it?
Anpu’s immortality poses a constant threat to Mankind. He will not rest until he’s enacted his vengeance and eradicated them all. So long as I have breath in me, I will stand alongside my brother and fight him till the end.
Kemet is a very ancient land, it is known by so many names: Ker-met, Deshret, Hwa-ka-Ptah, Aegyptus, Misr, Egypt. My brothers and I take pride in defending her against those that would invade or seek to oppress or harm her spirit, from any realm of the universe.
These days, my job is complicated. Since I’ve awoken to my origin as a Djinn, I’ve regained some of my lost memories. I’ve chosen to remain by the good Pharaoh’s side, but on my own terms. I am between his palace and Salhagaar. The Legai chose not to re-bind my newfound power to travel by Fire, so that’s useful. With everything that’s been happening, and the Pharaoh being directly implicated, we’ve become quite close. I am his confidant and liaise between him and the Ancient Ones in Zinnat.
My biggest challenge was explaining all of this to the other Sekhrey warriors and the brave men and women who came from all corners of the Earth to face what was to come. It had to be done. Anpu found his way back to this realm, and they had to be prepared. For the first and only time in Earth’s history, the Djinn were forced to go against their most sacred law — never to be seen by humans.
Have you had any scary moments? Tell us what happen or why you feel like this?
Have I been scared? Of course. Ours is a very great responsibility and when you’re up against a force like Anpu… His magic is very strong and very dark. But, you know, the Sekhrey are very spiritually connected. We are patient and wait until our hearts beat as one before we attack. This is when we know we are ready and that the time is right.
More than anything, I was afraid of losing Mirr-Ha, and my friends, you know… not ever seeing them again.
What is it like to be stripped of your powers and memories? Are they stored somewhere for safekeeping in case you want them back? Does your family have anything to say about this life choice?
You’d be surprised. I think it’s very similar to how many humans feel at some point in their life… you know… lost. I woke up one morning on the streets of Thebes and I didn’t know how I’d gotten there. And there were all these people going about their business. I was so confused, and that’s when it happened. I panicked, and the winds grew quite fierce and the more I panicked the more intense the storm became.
I saw an old woman fighting against the sand to get to me. She had her arms outstretched like she was trying to tell me she meant me no harm and all I could think was that I needed to protect her from this storm. When I reached her, I used my body to shelter hers, and I remember her saying that I had to calm down, and she called me ‘Protector’.
“We know the signs,” she said, and then she pointed me in the direction of the palace. The humans call us “the chosen ones” or “the marked Protectors”. They believe that the strongest and most selfless of their sons are chosen by the land to be its protectors. That they become marked and gifted with the ability to manipulate the elements.
I have to tell you, when I first met saw Hathor, I couldn’t believe what was happening. But those events are what triggered my memory and I was transported back to Zinnat. I remembered my initiation… I remembered the city. I didn’t remember anything before that, except that I was born Djinn and grew up as one.
After the incredible adventure that I’ve lived, no, I don’t regret my choice. I don’t regret anything. If I had to go back and do it all again, I would.
Have you done anything unforgivable to someone else? Was it out of love or revenge? Tell us about it.
No. *Mischievous smile* I mess with Katnun from time to time, but that’s just how it is between us. I love him and he knows it. But he can be such an ass, and he leaves himself wide open. I mean, really, he practically invites it in. *Laugh* I really can’t say much else, he’d chase me to the ends of our solar system and kick the sh** out of me.
What is your favorite colour and how does it make you feel?
I don’t have one. I enjoy all the colors in creation. Each elicits a different feeling within me and I celebrate them all.
How do you move earth, air, fire and water? Do you use this power for good or protection?
*Laughs* Oh, if I had a shat [ancient Egyptian unit of currency] for every time someone asked me that… I will it. It is an ability born from magic. All the Sekhrey warriors are capable of it.
You can say our powers range from spinning water in a cup to moving the ocean water in a tidal wave, though you’ll need several of us together to do that. We do use it for good and protection. That is the main essence of what we are.
Thing is, we cannot create it. That’s just a rumor… for us to manipulate fire, a spark must exist first, and so on.
If you could have one wish right now what would it be? how would it help your current situation?
My one wish right now is for more people to know our story. One day, I will have a daughter — I’ve seen it in a vision, and she will be a Rek-ker [one that can manipulate time and space]. She will know what is written about us in the thousands of years to come, and I would wish that people come to know the truth about us; and about Hathor and her father, Sinoueh, especially. They’ve endured so much, and it’s not fair for their story to be eventually reduced to… a fragmented lie.
Katrina, I’m sure your people have heard of the Sinai Desert. The correct name is, Seena, and it will endure, in all of Egypt’s languages, until the end of time. They will always call it, Seena, but even they will forget why. They will forget that Seena was the name of Hathor’s mother. They will forget the reason why that desert was named for her. They will forget that all of us were real and that… we lived.
Thank you Bitaah for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.
Thank you for having me, the pleasure was mine.
…Little did she know that no human could ever see her.
Hathor, born a Djinn, raised as human and torn between the two as she comes of age and discovers her powers.
An ancient prophecy, a river of Fire, and the unification of three objects called “The Ankhs”, sets the world of Humans and Djinn into a race against time!
Can Hathor uphold the laws of Djinn, not to be seen by humans, when she falls in love with one? Does she stand a chance against Anpu, as he seeks to fulfill an ancient prophesy and destroy mankind?
About the Author:
Greetings from the land of the Pharaohs.
I’m an Egyptian woman – born in Central Africa and raised all over the world. I came back to Egypt when I was 18 years old and have lived here, happily, every since. By way of work, I’m an academic dean, an educator, and a writer.
As far as my writing goes, I tend to “break the mold”. Honestly, I’d shatter the bloody thing if I could. I like to change things up and keep things fresh and new and original. So, if a book idea burns in me, I light the flames and write it.
My favorite stories always flirt with old mythology and are intertwined with lots of romance and adventure. Be warned now: I LOVE writing a good plot twist!
In the labyrinth of my fantasy-driven mind, pens are my wands and I’ll spin the tales like a dervish-man.
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